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Guest Post: Peace is a Choice by Alleyn Kane

Under the guidance of a Tae Kwon Do master, I had my first profound realisation with meditation

Alleyn is a writer, martial artist, and meditation practitioner. He has lived in and travelled throughout east Asia where he feels right at home. Until he finishes the novel that will unite humanity, bring world peace, and enlighten the universe, you’ll find him online, grafting as copy writer.

Throughout my life, I at times struggled with anger and anxiety. Rather serendipitously, I found the Korean martial art, Tae Kwon Do, or rather it found me, in my youth and set me on a different path. Through Tae Kwon Do, I was first introduced to meditation. Like all martial arts, Tae Kwon Do teaches self-control, so meditation compliments training perfectly.

Meditation was always practiced at the beginning and end of each Tae Kwon Do class. Our teacher used it as a tool to help us focus on our training and self-control. As an overthinker, I found it almost impossible to quieten my mind for long, so meditation became a battle. I spent most of the time scolding myself for not having immediately mastered the skill.

About a year into my training, I attended a Tae Kwon Do camp in Wales where I was introduced to my teacher’s teacher – a Tae Kwon Do master. Each morning, before training, the master led us on longer, more complex guided meditation journeys. It was during one of his sessions that something clicked for me and I was able to experience the power of meditation for the first time.

As we lay on the ground, the master guided us through an energy light-field meditation. We imagined that we were surrounded by pure white light and as we breathed in, this energy entered and filled our bodies. I could see the light, I could feel it enter and revive me, I felt completely calm, and I was able to resist the urge to follow my thoughts. Like never before, I was completely focused and at peace. I knew that something special was happening. All sense of time and the outside world slipped away. There was only the blissful feeling of calmness and the image of myself surrounded by light.

Eventually, our master brought us back. He said something that I have never forgotten. He told us to register the feeling of peace, to put a pin in it. He said that whatever peaceful state we were in at that moment was always present within us. He told us that we had opened a road within our minds to this state and that the road was always open, no matter what is going on around us. It was an incredible moment of realisation for me.

In the years since, I have continued to practice meditation outside of Tae Kwon Do. And although I am more experienced, that moment still stands out for me. Understanding that inner peace is a choice is what made the experience so profound. Once we know and accept that, we can choose to return to it, we can choose how to act, and we can choose not to let our emotions control us. Realising that we have a choice is the key to empowerment, self-control, and growth. Of course, it’s easy to say and difficult to practice. As humans, we are driven by our emotions. We are all prone to panic and anger, it’s an easier route for our brains to take. But by practicing meditation we can open a path to peace and self-control. And the more you open the path, the more likely you are to travel it.

Just knowing that a calm and controlled state exists within and is available at any time is a powerful first step towards self-mastery and a happier, more peaceful way of life. It’s simply a matter of choice.

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